All the women who gave birth during the pandemic caused by Covid-19 have accused one increased stress during pregnancy and childbirth itself and have perceived a reduced quality of hospital care receipts.
Furthermore, almost the 15% more women developed symptoms of depression after giving birth during the pandemic.
This is stated by some researchers in a study ofUniversity of Granada (UGR), indicating that “psychological variables” helped to create anxiety and depression more serious among pregnant women since the start of the pandemic. These “psychological variables” include general stress experienced, worries women have about pregnancy, personal resilience, insomnia, fear of contracting the virus, or feelings of loneliness.
The study, published in the journal Medicina Clínica, revealed that
- feel stress,
- be very worried about the evolution of pregnancy,
- be afraid of contagion,
- feel alone e
- sleep badly
are the variables that are most able to influence ea raise anxiety and depression.
Borja Romero González, researcher at the University of Granada, said: “We have all experienced very stressful, sad or anxious situations at some point during the pandemic. Since the state of alarm was raised in our country, thousands of people have had to face a new way of life that was completely unknown to them. This situation has particularly affected pregnant women, who have experienced a growing sense of fear of the possibility of infection due to the potential transmission to the fetus ».
Furthermore, according to scholars, the uncertainty caused by the lockdown situation (especially in the spring of 2020), coupled with these women’s experiences in hospitals, may have contributed to increased stress and anxiety.
In particular, the study focused on identifying the “psychological variables” that contributed to increase or decrease the levels of anxiety and depression in a sample of 131 pregnant women. In addition to the psychological variables, the authors also analyzed some variables of the lockdown experience itself: the type of house in which the women spent the months of quarantine, whether they followed a balanced diet and the frequency of video calls to family and friends .
It turned out that the psychological variables they actually helped worsen anxiety and depression in pregnant women.
According to Romero González this indicates a clear conclusion: regardless of the great importance of the place where you live, how many contacts you have with relatives and the type of diet you follow, the psychological state contributes more directly to creating problems of anxiety and depression.
Therefore, researchers consider it very important to target psychological interventions especially at the pregnant female population. This could also have a positive impact on the fetus, since the close relationship between the stress levels of the mother and the neurodevelopment of the child is well known.
A second study compared the levels of satisfaction with hospital delivery and the incidence of postpartum depression in women who gave birth during the pandemic (in relation to those who gave birth earlier).
This research found that women who gave birth during the pandemic reported hearing increased stress during childbirth itself and have evaluated lower quality of care received in hospital.
Likewise, nearly 15% more women have developed symptoms of depression after childbirth during the pandemic. This second study was based on a sample of 162 women and was recently published in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics.
A possible explanation for these phenomena could be that, during the state of alarm and in the most critical moments of the pandemic, the hospital system (in Spain) has suffered an almost total collapse. This probably affected women’s negative perception of the quality of care received.
Also having to give birth alone or being in an “inhospitable” place (like unfortunately all hospitals during the pandemic) would increase the stress at the time of delivery.
“It is important to note that satisfaction related to the event of childbirth is an indicator of postpartum well-being and that it is important to reduce the risk of suffering from postpartum depression,” concludes Borja Romero.